Politics, government and public life for Southern California

Maven's Morning Coffee: Sheriff Baca's next step, Antonio Villaraigosa's exit interviews, a payday in Sacramento

LA Jails

Reed Saxon/AP

The Los Angeles Times reports Sheriff Lee Baca pressured Undersheriff Paul Tanaka to retire. Also, the Daily News editorial board looks at his leadership potential for the future.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Monday, March 25, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

In Rick Orlov's Tipoff column, Mickey Kantor looks at the city's finances, the state gets a tab for special elections, and Matt Szabo returns to City Hall.

Sheriff Lee Baca pressured Undersheriff Paul Tanaka to retire because he became a political liability, reports the Los Angeles Times. "Tanaka has not ruled out running for sheriff himself, challenging his boss in the 2014 election," according to the newspaper.

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Words of commitment and legal questions surround Prop 8 case

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A display of political buttons opposing Proposition 8 during a 2010 San Francisco rally to celebrate the ruling to overturn the voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.

On Tuesday, the US Supreme Court hears oral arguments on California’s Proposition 8, which restricts marriage to one man and one woman. The following day, the justices will hear arguments on the federal Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA.

Word of commitment

The Proposition 8 case is Hollingsworth v. Perry. "Perry" is Kris Perry, half of a lesbian couple from the Bay area.

But there’s another couple in the suit: a gay couple from Southern California, fitness instructor Paul Katami and multiplex theater manager Jeff Zarillo. It’s been a long four-year journey through the courts for the two men.

In a conference call with reporters, Zarillo said the case brought the couple closer together, and made them want even more to claim the title “married.”

"Having access to that language, it affirms the commitment that we have built," said Zarillo. "That word is so important and if it wasn’t so important, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation."

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Student loan relief bill faces tough opposition on Capitol Hill

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David McNew/Getty Images

For many students, paying tuition to attend UCLA or any college requires a loan that takes years to pay off. A bill before Congress could make it easier to clear away student loan debt.

Americans owe more on student loans than on cars or credit cards—more than $1 trillion dollars.

That statistic has been floating around for three years or more. Now an L.A. lawmaker has introduced the first House bill in the new Congress to address the student loan debt problem.

Congresswoman Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles) is sponsoring the Student Loan Fairness Act. The measure would permanently cap federal student loans at their current levels of 3.4 percent.

Repayment would be spread over 10 years at a rate of 10 percent of discretionary income. After that, the slate is wiped clean, with the federal government picking up the tab for the remainder of the loan amount.

Bass calls her student loan debt relief bill "the most appropriate expense we can make as a nation."

Bass says the Congressional Budget Office hasn’t yet come up with the exact cost of the program, but that cost is likely to scare off GOP support. So she's enlisting students to put pressure on her House colleagues, inviting the public to become “citizen co-sponsors” of the measure.

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Jokes at Los Angeles political roast fizzles, focus on May elections

Salute to the olympic games

Andres Aguila/KPCC

L.A. City Councilman Tom LaBonge was roasted at the annual political event Thursday evening but aside from a few jokes about pumpkin bread and his habit of asking where everyone went to high school, most of the night's jokes focused on the May 21 election.

Los Angeles Mayor race 2013

The annual political roast to raise money for the American Diabetes Association targeted Los Angeles City Councilman Tom LaBonge Thursday evening, but with the two mayoral candidates serving as the roasters, the night had more fizzle than sizzle.

More than 850 people packed into a ballroom at the Beverly Hilton to raise about $500,000 at the 16th annual event hosted by lobbyists Harvey Englander and Arnie Berghoff and Councilman Mitch Englander.

Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky served as the master of ceremonies. Councilman Mitch Englander introduced him as “the man who wants to tax your rainwater” and “the man who will never be mayor.”

The main event featured roasts from Controller Wendy Greuel and Councilman Eric Garcetti. And while their digs focused more on the mayor’s race than LaBonge, it remained pretty tame.

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Maven's Morning Coffee: Antonio Villaraigosa reflects on tenure, city attorney goes after digital signs, Pershing Square makeover has uncertain future

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BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa sat down with KPCC's Patt Morrison to reflect on his eight years in office.

Good morning, readers. Welcome to the Maven's Morning Coffee -- a listing of the important headlines, news conferences, public meetings and announcements you need to know to fuel up and tackle your day.

The Maven's Morning Coffee is also available as a daily email. Click here to subscribe.

Today is Friday, March 22, and here is what's happening in Los Angeles:

Headlines

What is Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's legacy after eight years in office? KPCC's Patt Morrison sits down with Villaraigosa -- who explains why the city of Los Angeles should be its own county and why the mayor should run the public school system.

City Attorney Carmen Trutanich wants CBS Outdoor and Clear Channel to voluntarily remove 100 digital signs, reports the Daily News. The city attorney also filed a court order to have the signs turned off.

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